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7 sneaky ways to keep your kids brains active all summer

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Jul 26th, 2016

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Have you ever heard of ‘summer slide’? This term describes the tendency for kids to lose some of the knowledge they’ve gained during the school year. New studies are now showing that kids can lose up to two months of information that they learned in school during the summer time.

As a preventive measure, many parents prevent ‘summer slide’ by having their child complete workbooks and worksheets. However, editor-in-chief of ‘Today’s Parent’ magazine Sasha Emmons says there are other ways to avoid this slide without having your kid sitting down and working on summer homework. Below are seven sneaky ways to incorporate math and reading into their summer routine.

1. Have your kid read up to six books this summer.

Studies show that reading just six books can stem ‘summer slide’. Rather that completing workbooks, a trip to the library is a far more exciting activity that kids will enjoy. Kids are encouraged to pick out their own books that appeal to their interests.

Sneaking in reading during daily activities will also stem the ‘summer slide’. This can include reading recipes, playing Boggle, playing Bananagrams, creating a word of the day, performing karaoke, or reading maps.

2. Work math into everyday life.

Instead of completing math worksheets, work math equations into a child’s daily routine instead. This includes finding the lowest and highest price on a menu or at the grocery store, calculating travel time during a trip, or how to split the cost of snacks or a dessert.

Playing math games like Tenzi, Crazy 8s, Old Maid are also great, as they incorporate math equations into a fun activity.

3. Post a word on the refrigerator every week and see how often you can use it.

For a child to really internalize a new word, they have to hear it about seven times in context. Pick an uncommon word, and incorporate it into regular conversation to create a dialogue on what that word means.

4. Make a scrapbook of your family’s vacation.

Young kids can cut and paste photos while older kids can write captions, creating a beautiful souvenir of your summer. Designing a scrapbook works the right-side of the brain for creativity, while writing captions works the left-side of the brain.

5. Journal or diary.

A journal or diary is a great way for a child to collect their daily thoughts. Writing on regular basis helps children form entries that contain good grammar, and a beginning, middle, and end.

6. Exposing kids to new experiences over the summer can also improve their learning capabilities.

Most cities are full of free activities to broaden children’s experiences. Some ideas include visiting a farmer’s market and talk to farmers about where food comes from, participate in one of the city’s cultural festivals, or go to the park and look for wildlife.

7. Download educational apps.

Many applications for your mobile devices can be very educational. There are a variety of learning applications that incorporate games, music, and problem solving skills available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad, and the Google Play store for Android devices.

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